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NEWS STORIES

Monico vandal to serve 9 months in county jail Submitted: 12/10/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


RHINELANDER - It's been almost a year since 14 homes and businesses were vandalized in the town of Monico.

The damage three teenagers caused was roughly $100,000.

One of those teens learned his punishment today.

"I would like to say that I am sorry and I do want to change. Become a better part of society." said 18-year-old Anthony Briggs.

Briggs along with two other teenagers vandalized homes and businesses in Monico.

He was found guilty ten of 14 charges.

Today he apologized for his wrong doing.

But District Attorney Steve Michlig didn't believe he took full responsibility for his actions.

"There were 14 break-ins for which he says he was involved in four or five of them. I don't think that's true. " Michlig said.

In the presentencing, Briggs said 17-year-old Jeffrey Stefonik peer-pressured him to do the break-ins.

"He was concerned that Stefonik would call in law enforcement if he didn't continue breaking into houses," said Michlig.

"Not only does he fail to accept responsibility, but he offers an explanation which is at best flimsy."

Despite that, his defense attorney says he's been getting his act together.

"He has been significantly engaged in a high school life. Here he is in court." Briggs Defense Attorney, John Voorhees said.

None of the victims were there in court today, but they did send letters expressing how these damages have affected them.

We visited Brian Wierzbicki in January hours after he found the damages to his home.

"While these are property crimes, I think that it's fair to say that for certainly the Wierzbicki family, life will never be the same." Michlig said.

Judge Michael Bloom didn't feel it was necessary Briggs should serve his time in the Wisconsin state prison system.

But he did think it was necessary for a different form of punishment.

"I'm not going to impose any jail time as a condition of probation," Bloom said.

"However on the two theft counts, I'm going to impose straight sentences of nine months in the county jail on each count."

Briggs will serve five years of probation after his time in jail.

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We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MERRILL - A Merrill woman admitted Thursday morning that she shot her boyfriend in the leg Wednesday night. Fifty-nine-year-old Debra Engel is charged with two felonies for that shooting.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander High School band took a break from vacation Thursday morning.

The group was practicing for two upcoming parades for the Fourth of July weekend.

The band will be marching, something some students have never done. It is a skill that is much different from just playing in a chair and it can be difficult to pick up.

"They're used to just being able to sit and play their music and maybe tap a foot, but to get your whole body moving, and to concentrate on where you are in a line, and your horn angle and all of those things is a lot to manage at one time," said band director Connie Piasecki.

Thankfully the director has some help managing the group. The band has a student drum major who is a leader for those who need it.

"As drum major I'm here to help Mrs. Piasecki to guide the band into better marching form and to get us into step as best as we can," said Mitchel Modic, senior and drum major at Rhinelander High School. "It is all about looking good and feeling good as well. Being a drum major it's really fun to watch people grow and develop not only as marchers but as people as well."

The band is excited for its upcoming holiday weekend and the two parades in which it will be marching in.

"We are marching in two parades, Three Lakes at nine o'clock and here in Rhinelander at eleven," said Piasecki. "We love marching, we have so much community support for the Rhinelander High School Band, so we hope we have a big crowd again this weekend, weather looks great, and we are really excited."

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